Sir Edmund Hillary's son co-founds clothing brand

  • 03/02/2018
Sir Edmund Hillary at the South Pole in 1958.
Sir Edmund Hillary at the South Pole in 1958. Photo credit: Getty

An outdoor clothing brand named Edmund Hillary will launch at New Zealand Fashion Week in August.

The range includes replicas of the gear worn by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 when they became the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

"The new business - Edmund Hillary Brands Ltd - will help keep the legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary alive around the world for future generations," says Mike Hall-Taylor, who is behind the company with Sir Edmund's son Peter Hillary.

The business will put a percentage from each sale towards schools in the Himalayas and outdoor education programmes in countries where the range is made and sold, including New Zealand.

The NZ Herald reports the percentage is about 2 percent.

"We've drawn on the heritage of the past - scouring imagery and researching fabrics used by Sir Ed and his climbing party - and then brought the clothing into the present day with style and functionality."

The company is largely being funded by UK investors, a press release says.

The launch collection will consist of about 25 items, including replicas of Sir Edmund's hand knitted sweaters. It will be suitable for "soft adventure and cold weather apres" rather than mountaineering.

Some of the items will be produced by the same company that supplied the 1953 expedition.

Smaller garments, such as hats and scarves, will be manufactured where possible in Nepal, and the merino wool for the knitwear and baselayers will be sourced from New Zealand.

Initially, the company owners are looking to establish niche markets in Australasia, Northern Europe, North America and Japan.